Terrorists threaten U.S. shopping malls

Mall of AmericaBy The Iowa Statesman


Somali terrorists urged Muslims in a video Saturday to attack shopping malls in the U.S., and other countries, specifically naming the Mall of America in Minnesota. U.S. Homeland Security officials, however, don’t seem to be taking the threat seriously.

According to the Associated Press, the al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabaab made the threat in the final minutes of a more than hourlong video released Saturday in which the extremists also warned Kenya of more attacks like the September 2013 assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in which 67 people were killed.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security provided local law enforcement agencies and private sector partners with “relevant information regarding the recent al-Shabaab propaganda video,” DHS press secretary Marsha Catron said in a statement. “However, we are not aware of any specific, credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center.”

However, according to a new Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment circulated this month focuses on the threat of right-wing sovereign citizen extremist groups in the U.S. Some law enforcement groups say the threat is equal to, and occasionally greater than, the threat from Islamic extremist groups. The report, produced in coordination with the FBI, counts 24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010, CNN reported Friday.

“These types of extremists believe that they can ignore laws because those laws attack their individual rights, even in routine daily instances like a traffic stop or being required to obey a court order,” the CNN report stated.